Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Grad student's suit fails to pass

In Brown v. Rector and Visitors of the University of Virginia, Judge Moon granted the motion to dismiss from the defendants in a case filed by an ex-graduate student.

And, it is a case study of the hurdles to stating a claim against a state school: (1) there is some talk about Bell Atlantic v. Twombly, which provides cover to district courts wanting to move on lame complaints at the pleadings stage; (2) the Eleventh Amendment bars relief against the University as an agency of the Commonwealth - (query, why doesn't the same rule apply to local school boards?); (3) qualified immunity protects individuals in all but the clearest cases of constitutional violations; (4) on a Due Process claim, what procedural process is due is not much, at least not for academic dismissals, or even disciplinary dismissals; and (5) you can't actually rely on representations in a student handbook that are qualified by the customary disclaimer.

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